HOLD YOUR FIRE

January 27th in history:

apollo 1 crew pray

The three astronauts who were scheduled to fly on the first Apollo mission died in a launchpad fire on January 27th, 1967, less than a month before the planned mission.  Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were unable to escape from the Apollo capsule after a flash fire broke out during an equipment test.  A pure oxygen atmosphere inside the capsule was blamed for helping the fire spread quickly.

The fire happened the same day in 1967 that an Outer Space Treaty was signed by the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Great Britain.  Dozens of other countries have signed it since then.  The treaty bans countries from putting weapons of mass destruction into Earth orbit, and from using the moon for military purposes.

The Vietnam War officially ended on January 27th, 1973, when Vietnam and the U.S. signed the Paris Peace Accords. The treaties were signed one week into President Nixon’s second term, and five years after the Paris peace talks began.

The grave of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison has become a popular tourist attraction in Paris. Morrison’s career only lasted four years after the release of the first album by the Doors on January 27th, 1967.

The first Doors album featured the hit “Light My Fire.” On this date in 1984, singer Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire as a result of pyrotechnics used while he was filming a TV commercial for Pepsi.

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